Science

Submission + - Chemist jailed in Russia for giving expert opinion in court->

scibri writes: Think the imprisonment of Pussy Riot is a miscarriage of justice? Check out the story of their cellmate:

Chemist Olga Nikolaevna Zelenina heads a laboratory at the Penza Agricultural Institute. She is an expert in the biology of hemp and poppy, and is a sought-after expert in legal cases involving narcotics produced from these plants. Last year, she was asked by defence lawyers to give her opinion in a case involving imported poppy seeds. The prosecutors didn't like her evidence though, and now she's in prison accused of complicity in organized drug trafficking.

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Open Source

Submission + - Torque3D Engine Goes Open-Source->

DangerOnTheRanger writes: "Torque3D, the game engine behind games such as Blockland and Tribes 2, has gone open-source. The engine itself — in addition to 4 game templates — are all included in a Git repository hosted on Github. Documentation is available in a separate repository. Quite the exciting time in the world of game development!"
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Microsoft

Submission + - How Microsoft is wooing college kids to write apps for Windows 8->

SquarePixel writes: Bloomberg has an interesting story about Microsoft's efforts to simultaneously woo younger workers and to get more apps into its Windows Store. "Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, designed Windows 8 for touch-screen technology included in the company's first tablet, Surface, and other devices coming this year. To gain share in tablets, a market expected by DisplaySearch to reach $66.4 billion in 2012, Microsoft needs enough apps to challenge the more than 200,000 available for iPad. Using student recruits is one way Microsoft can woo app developers who are used to building programs for mobile phones and tablets, where the company has little and no share, respectively. Luring programmers before graduation is particularly critical for recruitment in the U.S., which lags behind countries such as India and China in its ability to crank out qualified engineers."
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Businesses

Submission + - Can Microsoft really convince people to subscribe to software?->

curtwoodward writes: "For most consumers, monthly subscriptions are still something for magazines and cable TV. With Office 365, Microsoft is about to embark on a huge social experiment to see if they'll also pay that way for basic software.
But in doing so, Microsoft has jacked up prices on its old fee structure to make subscriptions seem like a better deal. And that could really leave a bad impression with financially struggling consumers."

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Facebook

Submission + - Facebook wants YOU to grass-up friends not using their real name->

Qedward writes: Freedom to go under a pseudonym is, miraculously, one freedom to survive the security lock-down of the previous decade. Now Facebook wants to change this.

James Firth shows Facebook is clamping down on pseudonyms, with an interesting screenshot of being asked whether a friend is using their real name.

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Upgrades

Poll + - Favorite way to add capsaicin to a dish: 348 348

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Education

Submission + - Gates and others offer $150,000 to start open source community->

WebMink writes: "With an impending deadline for America's schools to satisfy new federal reporting requirements on academic achievement, a new alliance of state educators is creating a system of open source software to help schools gather and submit the data that the rules require. To get the whole thing started, the Gates Foundation and Carnegie are funding two $75,000 awards for the open source developers who create the in-school software. The winners could also become the lynchpins of a new industry in academic software."
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Science

Submission + - Your moral compass is reversible->

scibri writes: Your moral positions may be more flexible than you think. Researchers in Sweden have tricked people into reversing their opinions on moral issues, even to the point of constructing good arguments to support the opposite of their original positions (paper in PLOS ONE).

They used a "magic trick" to reverse a person's responses to such moral issues as "Large-scale governmental surveillance of e-mail and Internet traffic ought to be forbidden as a means to combat international crime and terrorism", by switching "forbidden" to "permitted" when the subject turned the page of the questionaire. When asked to read back the questions and answers, about half of the subjects did not detect the changes, and a full 53% of participants argued unequivocally for the opposite of their original attitude in at least one of the manipulated statements.

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NASA

Submission + - Dawn spacecraft finds signs of water on Vesta->

ananyo writes: "Vesta, the second-most-massive body in the asteroid belt, was thought to be bone dry. But NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has found evidence that smaller, water-rich asteroids once implanted themselves in Vesta’s surface. The water stays locked up in hydrated minerals until subsequent impacts create enough heat to melt the rock and release the water as a gas, leaving pitted vents in the surface. The discovery shows that yet another body in the inner Solar System has a water cycle."
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Hardware

Submission + - Meet the Mozilla OS Developer Phone->

An anonymous reader writes: It’s no secret that Mozilla has been working on a mobile OS. Previously codenmed Boot2Gecko, the project focused on a purely HTML5 based system that worked in many ways like current mobile devices. As the project grew into Mozilla OS, the company has laid out a partnership with ZTE that will have real world devices in certain markets early next year. Testing for this OS had previously consisted of a compiled ROM that would be flashed over a handful of Android devices. Now, Mozilla has moved into full fledged product evaluation mode with their own custom developer phone.
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Submission + - The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link sold to it members->

nadaou writes: From The NY Times: 'One of the earliest online communities, The WELL, has a new owner: its members. On Thursday evening, Salon Media Group, the previous owner of The WELL, said it had sold the community to the Well Group, a private investment group consisting of longtime members of the community, which was founded in 1985, long before the rise of the Web.'
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Space

Submission + - Copenhagen Suborbitals seeking $10k in crowdfunding for new space capsule->

Plammox writes: As Copenhagen Suborbitals continue to develop their donation based, garage level technology solution to manned suborbital spaceflight, they're looking to crowdfund the next space capsule design. For a mere $25 your name will fly in the next capsule test launch. $2000 will buy you a guided tour of the premises in Copenhagen. The volunteer-based organization has previously done a number of different static engine tests with spectators and two sea launches of a launch escape system and their first big rocket.
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Earth

Submission + - Rapid Arctic Melt Declared Planetary Emergency-> 2 2

Freshly Exhumed writes: Drawing on new data released Wednesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) that the Arctic ice pack has melted to an all time low (video), NASA climate scientist James Hansen has declared the current reality a "planetary emergency". As pointed out by Prof. David Barber from the University of Manitoba, 'The thaw this year broke all the records that we had previous to this and it didn’t just break them, it smashed them.' So, not sure why your mainstream press isn't covering this story? 'It's hard for the public to realize,' Hansen said, 'because they stick their head out the window and don't see much going on.' Thankfully some people are noticing, as Bill McKibben’s recent Rolling Stone article, Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math has gone viral.
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Submission + - Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines->

OakDragon writes: "Kickstarter has introduced some more stringent guidelines and requirements specifically for the Hardware and Product Design categories. These new requirements are laid out in a blog post called "Kickstarter Is Not a Store." Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. — only a real product and what it does at the time. Product renderings and other simulated illustrations also will not be sufficient — the project creator will have to have photographs of a real prototype."
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NASA

Submission + - Asteroid Vesta Covered in Hydrogen->

DevotedSkeptic writes: "The protoplanet Vesta, a large space rock in the solar system's asteroid belt, is covered with a surprising amount of hydrogen, and bits of Vesta may have rained down on Earth in the form of meteorites, NASA's Dawn probe has revealed.

Dawn spent more than a year orbiting Vesta, a behemoth 330-mile-wide asteroid that circles the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Earlier this month, on Sept. 5, Dawn took its leave of Vesta to begin trekking to the even-larger space rock Ceres, which is categorized as a dwarf planet.

Meanwhile, though, scientists are still poring over the treasure trove of data on Vesta gathered by the probe, and two new studies are reported on Sept. 20 in the journal Science. In one, researchers report the findings of Dawn's Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRAND), which mapped the elemental composition of Vesta's surface."

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